The 39th annual conference of the Society for Japanese Blood Programme
The annual conference of the Society for Japanese Blood Programme (Society) was held on October 4-6, 2015 in Osaka City.
The Society holds an annual conference with a theme to discuss a stable supply of safe blood products. The theme in Japanese for 2015 means: “For smiles to shine again”.
For the conference, the Society organized a workshop whose Japanese title means: “Toward new crisis management arrangements - Never forget the day. -“ Masahito Yamazawa, Director General, Disaster Preparedness Planning Task Force of Japanese Red Cross Society (JRCS) gave a lecture entitled “Development of JRCS Nuclear Disaster Guidelines for Preparedness, Response and Recovery”.
In his lecture, Mr. Yamazawa stated that the JRCS experienced limited relief activities due to the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident (Fukushima Daiichi accident) which occurred on March 11, 2011, and regretting the bitter experience, the JRCS has worked on nuclear disaster preparedness.
Since the Fukushima Daiichi accident, the JRCS has made various efforts for nuclear disaster preparedness as follows:
- Development of JRCS Nuclear Disaster Guidelines for Preparedness, Response and Recovery (Guidelines);
- Preparation of JRCS standards for relief activities during a nuclear disaster;
- Preparation of nuclear/radiological protective equipment and materials;
- Provision of JRCS Nuclear Disaster Response Basic Training Session;
- Collection/dissemination of information about nuclear disasters via the Digital Archives of the Red Cross Nuclear Disaster Resource Center;
- International contribution for promoting nuclear disaster preparedness.
In particular, the development of the Guidelines is the core of the efforts. Through the development, the JRCS hopes to disseminate its experience in Fukushima and fulfill a responsibility as a Red Cross National Society of the single country who experienced both the atomic bombings and the nuclear accident.
The purpose of the Guidelines is to protect the lives and health of survivors and also to secure the safety of JRCS responders. The target audience of the Guidelines is the JRCS staff and the Red Cross volunteers. The Guidelines divide the activity phases into three: Preparedness; Response; and Recovery.
The Guidelines also refer to restriction of responders’ activity area and safety standards aimed at managing each responder’s cumulative exposed radiation doses (including standards for personnel engaging in blood product supply) in the event of a nuclear disaster. The assignment of radiation emergency medical care advisors (REMC advisors) is also stated in the Guidelines. They give technical advice to JRCS responders so that they can provide relief activities safely and properly in a radiological environment. (22 REMC advisors from 11 Japanese Red Cross Hospitals have been assigned as of October 2015.)
There are still many challenges which cannot be solved by the JRCS independently to respond to nuclear disasters. Therefore, the JRCS will continue to consider those challenges with related organizations and revise the Guidelines accordingly.